Dec 28, 2018
A fresh breeze, warm, aromatic, tantalizing has been wafting over Guernewood Park - a tease, a promise in the shape of a cafe called Baked on the River. Courtesy of chef Helena Gustavsson Giesea, we have a new bakery in (near) town and t could wax ecstatic over the treats and inviting ambience, and you may read the reviews, but it’s really all about the notorious H.G.G. Swedish-born Helena Gustavsson Gisea was passionately focused on becoming one of the world's great chefs - a goal rooted in a childhood spent, with her brother, in her mother's kitchen as well as her family's extensive organic garden.
A graduate of S.F. City College culinary school, and a pastry intern at the City’s prestigious Fleur de Lys restaurant, Helena also worked Cyrus restaurant in Healdsburg and Forestville’s Farmhouse Inn followed by her Charisma Wine Lounge in Guerneville before aligning her skills with architect Leslie Bahr at Main Street’s late White Tail Wine Bar. Helena’s cumulative experience (not to mention her rankings in Sweden’s Miss Fitness competition) should provide the foundation for a worthy establishment cherished by scores of happy locals. Baked on the River’s open days and hours are still being determined but a call to 865-6060 should answer any relevant questions. Find “Baked…" at 17071 HWY 116, a mile west of Guerneville.
As remote and laid back as Guerneville might seem, it has been touched occasionally by “heavy hitters” who barely caused a ripple.
Two years ago, following a wedding at Bohemian Grove, Hon. Nancy Pelosi attended a post-nuptials reception at Jerry Knight’s River Theater. Closely watched by secret service agents, Nancy caught Jerry’s eye as well and he couldn’t resist introducing himself. Nancy was, of course very impressed with Jerry’s unique amalgam of oddities and collectibles (Sinatra’s pool cue?! ) and told him she’d “never seen anything like it”.Never one to shun the spotlight, Knight made sure the event was chronicled in photos of the delighted couple, arms around each other. and not looking like strangers. Nancy hasn’t been in touch, says Knight, but then she’s been kind of busy.
The Notorious RBG, 85-year-old Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, recently recovering from serious lung surgery, has become a cultural rock star as well as an amazing being of wit, wisdom and character, RBG is given much media ink, is widely revered and discussed, and her life is being chronicled on screens (big and small) and in the voices of the talking heads which report daily on ‘whassup’ in the World. Although I haven’t heard of RBG actually visiting Guerneville, In the early 90s I wrote something which told the story of Passover as a historical “poem”, and since it was RBG’s birthday, I sent her a copy of “PassoveRap” and wished her the happiest B-day ever. Mail to the Supreme Court Justices needs to be written out on paper and snail-mailed, which is what I did, never suspecting it would grab anyone’s attention, but amazingly, it managed to land on her desk/lap, where she read it! Imagine my disbelief when I found a manila envelope with the U.S. Supreme Court as the return address - with “Justice Ginsburg” in script above it.! Inside, she had photocopied and sent to me a memoir she had written for an anthology assembled by Joyce Antler called “THE JOURNEY HOME” Jewish Women and the American Century.
On the front page she wrote the following in script:
Appreciation for the birthday greeting and Passover Poem (which revived memories of Seders in the years of my youth)”.
(signed in script) “Ruth Bader Ginsburg”
The second of the “two Supremes” I mentioned is Sonia Sotomayor, to whom I sent a baseball poem about the threat of a baseball players strike some years ago. Her personal, hand-written note said: “Dear Mr. Gross: Thank you for your gracious note and for sending me a copy of your poem. You are a great scribe and have made me smile widely.
Very truly yours, (her signature)
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